Graduate Funding Opportunities

Funding from assistantships and scholarships are available to top-performing students. Graduate assistantships (GA) provide funding support to cover a stipend (at least $1,748 per month, typically for 9 months for a teaching assistantship (TA) and 12 months for a research assistantship (RA)), full tuition waiver for up to 9 graduate credits per semester, and a credit for 50% of the cost of the UMaine health insurance policy for GAs.

To apply for a GA please check the appropriate box on the graduate school application. No other action is required to be considered for a GA. However, if applying for a specific RA position listed below, we recommend contacting the Professor offering the RA to discuss shared research interests.

Additional funds are provided to students on a competitive basis to cover research expenses and travel to present research at professional conferences. Further funding for travel and research expenses is also available through the Grant Program at the Graduate Student Government.

Students receiving standard GA appointments perform teaching and research tasks. This may involve serving as a TA for an undergraduate course or as an RA on a faculty member’s funded research project. Students are given clear expectations about their responsibilities and are expected, on average, to work 20 hours per week. When assigning assistantships, effort is taken to match the student’s interests and background with the research and teaching needs of the school’s faculty.

In addition to school RA and TA positions, SOE faculty often secure external research grants that support RA positions. Please contact SOE graduate faculty, who share your research interests, to inquire about RA openings they may have.

Some examples of possible Fall 2021 Graduate Assistantships

This list summarizes some upcoming potential RA needs. Some of these positions are contingent on faculty securing grant funding. Many RAs will work with industry, government and community stakeholders. Experience/coursework in policy and econometrics preferred. Positions listed below are generally for Master’s students unless Ph.D. is specified.  We recommend you contact specific faculty members listed below for up-to-date information on available funding and to discuss shared research interests, BEFORE submitting your application.

Modeling Cultural Adaptation to Climate Change (Ph.D.)
Dr. Tim Waring is looking for a Ph.D. student to develop theoretical models of human cultural evolution under the influence of climate change and apply those models to existing data from farmers and rural communities in the northeast and beyond. Tasks include developing theoretical models of cultural adaptation to the effects of climate change, fitting and calibrating those models based on data assembled as part of this research project, and using the models to make predictions to help rural communities and policy makers understand and anticipate the needs of adapting to climate change. This position is part of a new National Science Foundation-funded project that seeks to understand how both rural human communities and species populations will respond to challenges posed by climate change and is a collaboration between researchers at the University of Maine and the University of Vermont. The collaborative project will synthesize large amounts of data and develop new modeling techniques to predict climate-driven shifts in species ranges as well as the responses and cultural adaptations of human communities. Successful applicants will work with a multidisciplinary team of biologists, social scientists and complexity researchers in Maine and Vermont.

Agricultural and Development Economics. Dr. Jonathan Malacarne is looking for a student to work on topics related to the resilience of small farm operators and rural economies in a landscape characterized by rapidly changing risk factors. This project considers the impact of risk on production and investment decisions, with a strong focus on how risks are conceptualized by decision-makers. Depending on the interests and background of the student, this research will focus on vulnerable populations in Maine or abroad. Related fields: Agriculture, development, climate adaptation, risk management

Economic Policy Analysis. Dr. Jonathan Rubin and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center have an opening for a research assistant (RA) to assist with economic policy analysis. The RA position supports the research and writing of economists and policy analysts and involves data analysis, verification of statistical and other material in manuscripts, statistical calculations, literature searches, and drafting written materials. The RA must be highly organized and detail-oriented and have the ability to gather, understand, analyze and compellingly present a wide variety of economic data. Knowledge of Python and R preferred. The actual work will vary depending on the particular project needs of the faculty and staff. Current projects include strategic investment analysis for connected and autonomous vehicles on Maine’s roads, assisting coastal communities to determine the value of their marine economies, an analysis of the Opportunity Maine tax credit and a strategic investment analysis in electric vehicle infrastructure for Maine.

Economics of Land Conservation Drs. Kathleen P. Bell and Andrew Crawley are looking for a graduate research assistant to help our project team, which also includes Drs. Caroline Noblet and Adam Daigneault, conduct research and engage collaboratively with stakeholders to improve understanding of the economic effects of land conservation and to support evidence-based economic development and conservation decision making at multiple scales (e.g., state, region, and community). Experience or coursework in econometrics, economic development, regional science, environmental and natural resource economics, and public policy is preferred. Experience with modeling or programming (e.g., Python, R, Matlab), statistical software (e.g., Stata, SAS etc.), and GIS software is
preferred. *This position is contingent on external funding.*

Finance The College CFO is looking for a student to provide finance-related research to examine more efficient ways to manage the college’s complex budget ($30 million base and $20 million in grants) and vast operations (11 academic units, numerous research facilities) while identifying and comparing opportunities for improvement.  The student will learn Oracle financial software.  Excellent organizational, interpersonal and team-work skills, ability to work independently, spreadsheets skills, problem-solving and math skills preferred.  Attention to detail and accuracy required.

One Health and the Environment Drs. Kathleen Bell, Caroline Noblet and Mario Teisl are recruiting top prospective graduate students to participate in a recently awarded NSF-funded traineeship in One Health and the Environment.  For students interested in M.S. degrees, they are looking for students with strong undergraduate training in economics, environmental economics or health economics and demonstrated interest or prior training in bio-physical sciences (e.g., biology, ecology) and/or public health. They are also open to strong students interested in UMaine’s Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Science Program; these students should have interdisciplinary training goals that would build on and extend prior training in economics, public health, ecology, and biology. This assistantship is NOT available to international students. For more information, contact Dr. Bell at kpbell@maine.

Behavioral Environmental Economics. Dr. Caroline Noblet is looking for a student to study how consumers and citizens use information to make natural resource decision across a wide variety of behaviors, including in their purchases and in their communities. The goal of this research is to employ the techniques of behavioral economics to investigate environmental and natural resource choices. This student may examine issues such as how individuals and institutions react differently to information in decision making, including the impact of personal characteristics,  such as environmental values and sense of place experiences, in decision making. Topics will depend on the joint interest of the student, Dr. Noblet, and its relevance to the state of Maine (e.g., through interactions with state and community stakeholders).

Marine Resource Economics and Policy. Dr. Keith S. Evans is looking for a student to study the impacts of ocean/coastal management on resource users and coastal communities. The goal of this research is to improve the information available to managers and quantify the unintended spillovers of policy onto users in shared, multi-use environmental systems. This student may examine issues such as the effectiveness of limited entry control on sustaining resource rents, the adaptive behavior of fishers to marine policy, and information sharing and its effect on search in uncertain dynamic resource systems. Topics will depend on the joint interest of the student, Dr. Evans, and its relevance to the state of Maine (e.g., through interactions with the Maine Department of Marine Resources). This student will have the opportunity to engage directly with stakeholders as part of their research. While experience with programming (e.g., Matlab, R) and statistical software (e.g., Stata, SAS) is preferred, it is not required.